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2022 Newsletter #4

Middletown Riverbend Master Plan, Get To Know—Jeff Lee Romero, NYSERDA Webinar, Events


The City of Middletown, CT officially released their Return to the Riverbend master plan on Saturday, July 2! Karp Strategies, alongside Cooper Roberston, traveled to Middletown to unveil the plan with a presentation to members of the public and Common Council, followed by trolley tours of the site (with Middletown trivia!). The plan presents an exciting opportunity for the city to reverse the impacts of urban renewal, support forward-thinking economic growth, and build a new waterfront grounded in the goals and needs of local Middletown stakeholders.

Karp Strategies is proud to have worked with the City, Cooper Robertson, and Langan’s Connecticut office to realize this vision. Our economic development and real estate analysis guided the feasible land uses you can now see in the plan, and the team’s community engagement ultimately collected over 1,200 comments from area stakeholders across community workshops, focus groups, social media, an online survey, and at Main Street Market Gallery, an open storefront for community members to drop by and leave feedback. While this concludes our year-long scope, the City now heads for a vote on zoning changes critical to the plan’s success.

Read more about what project leaders Alexandra Sutherland-Brown and Mike Aziz think in this July 13 op-ed in support of the plan.

Clockwise from top left: 1) Representatives from the project team discuss elements of the plan during a trolley tour of the site, 2) a rendering of the overall vision for the riverfront redevelopment, 3) project team members and city staff unveil the master plan to members of the community at the Common Council, and 4) the guiding principles of the master plan drawn from community input and engagement. Rendering credit: Cooper Robertson. Masterplan Graphic Design credit: L&L.

Congratulations to the entire project team!


Jeff Lee Romero is a Principal at Karp Strategies. A development finance attorney and urban planner by training with over 20 years of experience in community and economic development, Jeff thrives in helping private and public sector stakeholders to innovate and grow. Prior to Karp Strategies, Jeff spearheaded the economic development practice at Capalino, served as an Associate at one of New York’s foremost affordable housing law firms, and led NYCEDC’s Strategic Investments Group, where he oversaw high-profile initiatives and programs such as the New York City Industrial Development Agency program and NYCEDC’s new markets tax credit program. A native New Yorker with roots in the Latinx and Asian communities, Jeff is a proud child/grandchild of immigrants from China and Colombia. He’s also a former Biology major! Learn more about Jeff in a short interview on our blog.


Check out this recent Learning from the Experts Webinar hosted by NYSERDA and featuring Karp Strategies’ very own Rebecca Karp and Andel Koester! Rebecca and Andel walked through lessons learned from Karp Strategies’ stakeholder engagement work in offshore wind, including the importance of sustained trust-building, the spectrum of engagement and dialogue with diverse communities, and realizing a Just Transition that aligns the benefits of renewable energy with communities disproportionately exposed to the negative impacts of the fossil fuel system.

This ongoing webinar series connects the public with key experts in various offshore wind focus areas. Past topics have included workforce development, transmission planning, port development, and the economic benefits of offshore wind. Big thanks to NYSERDA for continuing to provide this platform for learning and engagement!

Clockwise from top left: 1) Karp Strategies stakeholder engagement session, 2) speaker slide from webinar, 3) the spectrum of engagement, from Karp Strategies’ Learning from the Experts presentation, 4) image of a windmill by @Lobachad.


The Business Network for Offshore Wind will host a webinar on July 27, 2022, at 12:00 p.m. that explores how businesses can access floating offshore wind supply chain opportunities and reviews the manufactured and fabricated products required in the emerging market. Learn more about the event and register here.

Get involved with American Clean Power Week 2022, from August 15 to 19, 2022, to celebrate the many ways clean energy is building a better future for the United States. This year’s ACPW focuses on highlighting the economic and environmental benefits clean energy technologies bring to communities across America! Learn more about the event and register here.

Join the New York Building Foundation Annual Premier Wine Dinner held by the New York Building Congress on September 22, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. The New York Building Foundation promotes the long-term growth and well-being of the New York City building industry and the wider community through an active program of research, education, and philanthropy. Learn more about the event here and register here.

Join the Billion Oyster Project on September 29, 2022, to celebrate the addition of the 100 millionth oyster to the New York Harbor. The event includes oysters from dozens of farms across the country, live music, and light bites from BOP’s shell collections restaurants. Learn more about the event here and stay tuned here for the tickets that go on sale July 2022.

Save the date to be part of the APA-NYM Chapter Annual Conference to be held on October 21, 2022, at New York City College of Technology (City Tech) in Brooklyn, New York. Learn more about the event here.

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